The Buffalo Sabres were coming off one of their better wins of the season against the Boston Bruins and were on the verge of being ".500" since the beginning of the season. Then they went and laid an egg against the Florida Panthers.
The Panthers looked like the better team throughout this game as the Sabres allowed four goals in the first period and six goals overall. The Panthers found ways to score in all areas: even strength, shorthanded, and even powerplay. They also scored early and often, scoring their first goal within the first two minutes of the game.
Marty Reasoner scored twice while Brian McCabe, David Booth, Michael Frolik, and Steven Weiss each scored a goal of their own. Shawn Matthias, Evegeny Dadonov, and Chris Higgins each had two assists while Dennis Wideman, Jason Garrison, and Steven Weiss each registered an assist of their own.
For the Sabres, Tim Connolly and Derek Roy scored the lone goals for the Sabres, Connolly's coming on the powerplay. Myers, Ennis, Hecht, and Lalime all registered an assist.
The story of this game comes in how bad the defense and Ryan Miller looked in this game. A countless number of times, Panther forwards were standing alone with wide open shots on net. If that wasn't the case, Ryan Miller was way out of position on other goals that left wide open nets. Miller was pulled after the first period, allowing four goals on 10 shots. Lalime relieved Miller, allowing two goals on 16 shots in the final two periods.
If the Sabres did not find themselves in defensive trouble, they found themselves in penalty trouble. Each team took seven penalties, resulting in five powerplays for each team. Each team capitalized once on the powerplay bringing the Florida Panthers total in powerplay goals to 10 on the season.
The Buffalo Sabres will have a short turnaround time to think about this game as they head to Tampa to face the Lightning on Saturday night. For those who want to watch the misery that is this game, here are the highlights: